Today is Doom Sunday, also known as Christ The King Sunday. This is the last day of the year, according to the liturgical calendar, before we begin the year anew with Advent, beginning next Sunday. Doom Sunday is traditionally focused on the Second Coming of Christ and the judgement that awaits.
In the Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins, the wedding guests were waiting for the Bridegroom’s arrival. Unfortunately, he took longer than expected and didn’t show up when they expected him. So, they all grew tired and, as it was late in the night, they all fell asleep.
The thing is, this was all the Bridegroom’s “fault” as it were – he was the one who was really late in coming. So, you couldn’t really fault the wedding guests for being tired and falling asleep while waiting. They were all tired and they all nodded off.
But this is not about that. This is not about who managed to wait up the longest – it was about who was prepared to meet with the Bridegroom when he finally did arrive.
The term “foolishness” or “ignorance” in the Bible regarding sin is seldom an “accidental symptom” bur rather, it more often refers to a choice… an unwillingness. In this case, foolishness was ascribed to unwillingness to be prepared – just as ignorance would be a choice to not want to know.
It wasn’t the fault of the wedding guests to fall asleep. But they were faulted because they chose to be unprepared for his coming.
So how do we then prepare ourselves and be ready for Christ’s coming?
Drawing from the rest of Matthew 25, Rev. Augustin hearkened back to Emily’s message on using our talents last week and also from the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats (Matthew 25:31-46). Rev. Augustin pointed that the difference in the sheep and goats lay primarily in their willingness to be kind and gracious to the least of God’s kingdom, because in so doing, they did it to Christ Himself.
Yet, even so at the end of the day, the Second Coming is good news. In the Isaiah reading today (Isaiah 35:3-10), we hear that He will come and save us!
With this news, strengthen those who have tired hands,
and encourage those who have weak knees.
Say to those with fearful hearts,
“Be strong, and do not fear,
for your God is coming to destroy your enemies.
He is coming to save you.”
And when he comes, he will open the eyes of the blind
and unplug the ears of the deaf.
The lame will leap like a deer,
and those who cannot speak will sing for joy!
Springs will gush forth in the wilderness,
and streams will water the wasteland.
The parched ground will become a pool,
and springs of water will satisfy the thirsty land.
Marsh grass and reeds and rushes will flourish
where desert jackals once lived.
So, are we ready?
Let us all keep watch and be prepared, because we know neither the day nor the hour.